What are the “Ten Crucial Days?”
In December 1776, a mere six months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, General George Washington's fledgling American Army and the cause of liberty were on the verge of being extinguished. A disastrous New York campaign that fall had resulted in the loss of more than half of Washington’s troops, as well as the confidence of Congress and his fellow citizens. Retreating through “the Jerseys” with the remnants of his ragtag Continentals, Washington and his soldiers sought refuge on the west bank of the Delaware River, having narrowly escaped King George III's British troops and their Hessian auxiliaries. Doubling as peace commissioners, British General William Howe and his brother, Royal Navy Admiral Sir Richard Howe, reasoned that further bloodshed was unnecessary. They assumed that the rebellious American soldiers—many of whose enlistments were scheduled to expire at year's end—would no longer be able to offer any significant resistance. Settling into winter quarters, General Howe ordered his regiments to set up a string of cantonments posted through the Jerseys.
George Washington saw something very different... Taking stock of his army’s desperate situation, the rebel commander-in-chief would launch his forces into a series of victorious engagements, of which British historian Sir George Otto Trevelyan later wrote, “It may be doubted whether so small a number of men ever employed so short a space of time with greater and more lasting effects upon the history of the world.” That space of time—December 25, 1776 to January 3, 1777—encompassed “Ten Crucial Days” that changed the course of history.
Do something revolutionary! Experience the “Ten Crucial Days.”
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